Saturday, 27 August 2011

IT LIVES!!!!!!

I have just this minute managed to fire the beast up - ignore the smoke it's just the grease  that was used to ease the manifolds into place burning off. I had a slight fright when it wouldn't start but it was just reversed coil/ht connections. Listen to her roar - I am so frakkin' happy!

 Still plenty to do, finishing off fabricating exhaust brackets, re-routing some wiring, sorting out indicators on front end, fabbing up number plate holder.... BUT despite me having messed around with stator rotor and timing pick-ups when fitting the light-weight flywheel, and having fitted FCR Keihins straight from the box, she appears to run fine. Props and thanks to Chris at California Cycleworks, his base settings for the flatsides seem to be spot on. Plus there don't seem to be any oil leaks, petrol leaks etc, plus the cans sound fantastic, plus starter, dash, clutch etc etc all work....I am so stoked.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Three steps forward, one step back.

It's been a while since I posted an update. You think you're going to get loads done in the summer and you forget about holidays and other activities that block out your calender.

I continue to be undecided about the seat. Having bought three different shades of brown leatherette and some retro brown gum grips I still haven't got the tone or effect I want. I am starting to get seduced by the idea of giving up on the tan seat idea and going for black, perhaps with the hump built up to be a bit more "cafe", and maybe some red beading marking out the line of the back stop. However not ready to push the button on that yet....

Most significant progress has been in the wiring area. The speedo and supplemental idiot lights sub-loom is now wrapped up and tidy in self-amalgamating tape, going from this:

 To this:

 Having received LEDs soldered and heat-shrinked so that the plastic holders to secure them in their bezels were impossible to fit without de-soldering, I decided to just hot-glue them into the bezels.

We'll see how well this manner of mounting survives....

Getting the rat's nest tidied was a great morale booster. I'm not too good at the kind of stuff, and it was complicated by some very big transitions between thickness of wire and so on. However it came together and I got a massive buzz from getting it done. I fitted an inline fuse for the constant 12v supply and supported this by cable tying to the thinner wire in parallel and looping back the connection. This whole area is not finished and I haven't ruled out having to re-do it. For instance I've mounted the microswitch for the speedo LED display on the ignition key cover,
(sorry for the blurry shot..). The wires that run to this switch are very fine and protrude from the top of the taped sub-loom. The loom will have to be mounted and supported in such a way as to minimise strain on these. The same will apply for the wires to the back of the speedo and the wires running to the speed sensor (yet to be mounted - a bracket will need to be fabricated).

All warning lights in the speedo and externally are no working. That's high-beam, indicators, neutral, oil-pressure on the clock, and side-stand, charging system and fuel warning on the bracket. Actually I  haven't tested fuel warning light yet, so that's a lie, but we are almost there on idiot lights! Anyway it was nice to see the whole area cleaned up:

However this only high-lighted how 'orrible the brake and clutch fluid pots looked. I had previously written off alloy pots as a bit poncey, but changed my mind. Like the 'zorts, for the weight extremists it's a backward step but in this case we're talking grams and it's going to look so much better:

I purchased a large brake pot and a medium clutch pot from Motopike, in what I think is their own brand named "Factory Racing". Now there were some very highly respected Japanese parts under the Factory name a few years ago, but  I don't think this is the same, they say the parts are designed by UK engineers, and I suspect they are then made up in the far east, probably China. Nothing wrong with that as long as quality assurance is kept up.  Even if they are knowingly benefitting from the kudos of the now defunct Japanese Factory name, it's fine as long as quality is high. Unfortunately the clutch pot had a leaking sight window due to it's clips being sheared. Motopike have been very responsive, and sent a new window out in 24 hours. They say they are looking into the design, so for now the jury is out on build quality, but there is no question about their excellent customer service so I think things will come good. Also their prices are very competitive, and so you have to live with a little bit of "beta testing" for the user. I am sure that all alloy items like clip ons, which have been getting good reviews in the mags, will be fine.

Which reminds me. Having replaced the brake and clutch master cylinders with 916 or other superbike items, I found the Oberon brake lever now had the wrong fittings to suit. I got in contact with them and they gave me loads of advice. Then, rather than trying to sell me another whole lever, they supplied with me the necessary mechanism to convert ( and fitted it) at a very reasonable price. Can't rate them too highly. I had thought some of their stuff was a little pricey, but the quality is top notch and their customer service is brilliant so it's fair do's all the way.

Other progress  - I've started fabricating a prototype exhaust support bracket:

Because I don't have a band saw or a milling machine I need to make this stuff out of aluminium of a thickness I can handle. The prototype is made out of two strips of 2mm sandwiched together and is obviously a bit bendy, but I've ordered some 5mm for the final piece. We'll see how easy it is to bend as two curves are required on this side. Then the alloy spacer for the rear-set mounting bolt will need to be ground down proportionately, so that it's alignment for gear change is preserved.

The other side will be more tricky as the mounting is shared by rear brake master cylinder and reservoir components. Visually I am hoping 5mm flat bar ally will have enough strength to allow for some drilling, or even slotting, to make the brackets look more graceful and manufactured. You can do loads with a pillar drill, mini rotary-tool and the wonderful B&D powerfile.

Unfortunately the push fit of link-pipes into down-pipes is too loose. At the moment I am botching this with sleeving made from drink can alloy, and the use of jubilee clips. Not sure where to go with this short of having link-pipes adjusted or re-made by engineering firm. However, if I can "get away" with something that's reliable I will.

My other worry is there is some play in the manifold/downpipe so need to check whether gaskests are mounted correctly etc. The good bit is that all of this will need to be leak-tested. This means I am going to be forced to fuel-up, oil-up, and man-up and see if the thing runs soon! Very scary as this will involve discovering if ignition coils etc are wired up right, and electronic pick-up sensors are in exactly the right position. Only thing stopping me at present are some bits of hose I am waiting for for the tank and knocking up brake-side bracket prototype.

I'd bought an anodized front sprocket cover that didn't fit once the Oberon clutch slave cylinder was in position. A quick go with the powerfile sorted it and the de-anodised face is not visible when it's place:

So that's about it apart from one large downer. I started to mount front brake calipers so I could test Factory Racing brake reservoir for leaks in situ. While trying to do this I discovered that the front wheel is off centre. It's probably, no make that "definitely", something stupid, as there should be no change there other than discarding speedo drive and using it's insides as a spacer. Ahh you cry but that may make it thinner with casing missing etc. Yeah, but that's the side where I've got the bigger gap not the smaller, so what's going on?
Still I'm not dperessed. The best thing about this project is it keeps drumming into my head that nothing is insoluble. And I did get a massive buzz out of tidying up the wiring...weird......